Saturday, May 5, 2012

Summer Adventures

     Well, I made it through the first full year of grad school, one to go.  I must say, I certainly enjoy studying exercise physiology way better than physical therapy.  It's just so fascinating and makes perfect sense to me, probably because I have a passion for it as well as actually doing endurance exercise myself.  I've come a long way over the past year and a half, I believe.  I still have a lot to learn in this world, but you must do what makes you happy.  Even if that means giving up a secure future. 
   Anyways...what I'm writing about is my summer adventures.  I planned to do this adventure race that I did last year with Rachel-50miles (36 cycling, 6 kayaking, and 8 kayaking) with Mike this year-I think we're going to have a ton of fun.  I just hope the weather cooperates!  Then, the week right after that, I signed up for an olympic distance triathlon in Brighton, MI. In June, I haven't signed up for any races, just Bike to the Bay with my sister and Mike-100mi each day!
     But what I'm really going to blog the 10k swim I signed up for.  I'm scared.  First off-let me just say that I like adventure.  Sure, I exercise because it's healthy, I study it, so I know all the great benefits.  I may take it a bit far sometimes, I get asked at the gym if I'm training for something because I'll spend an hour on the treadmill or elliptical before or after I teach spin.  I cross train the heck out of my body.  I am NOT going to get injured ever again, and I will continue to do endurance-type sports as long as my body allows it.  But...I've been thinking, one of the real reasons why I train so much...for...nothing in some people's eyes, is really, because I have goals of doing these crazy things like 10k swims, long hikes, (I fully plan on hiking the whole AT when I'm older), possibly ultra-anything haha.  When we were in Colorado, it was go go go, I had to see everything I could, whether on my snowboard or snowshoeing.  This is why I train.  So I can just do things like this and not get tired.
     But the 10k I in over my head?  Yes, like I said, I'm scared.  But, I also know that I can do it.  I hope to first finish the thing, but to finish in under 3 hours.  That means I'm going to have to do long intervals, some sprint workouts, and much distance.  I'm going to swim at least 4 times a week, if not more, and taking a day off here and there if my shoulders are too sore.  Running and biking will help my legs and stamina.  Can I really swim 6.2 miles?  When I got out of the water after last year's 5k swim, I said to someone, "Ah, that was fun, I'm ready for a 10k!"  But I do remember at one point thinking to myself "When is this swim was going to be over?".  That was just once, though.  Usually, for whatever reason, I enjoy long distance exercising, and can go on forever.  What do I think about?  I let my mind wander.  Sometimes even I don't know how I can do the same repetitive motion for hours on end, day after day. 
     Out of all the sports in triathlon, the open water swimming is by far my favorite.  So, it only seems right that I should continue on with this open water swimming, pursue a dream I had since I was a child (which, was basically to live my life as extremely as possible-accomplishing great physical feats, because ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed the pain of pushing my body to its own limits.  I can probably thank my Dad for that one :) So this is just another goal on a long list that I don't even know the rest of.  I think I have to do this, not only for myself, but for others around me.  If God gives you a talent, He expects us to use it (I read that somewhere, I didn't make that up).  So...for whatever reason, if I have the drive and swimming skills to do this, I will :)
     I know I keep talking about running ultramarathons, and I would like to.  But running is my worst sport, unfortunately, and I believe I must take this ultra thing in a different direction at the moment.  So, after much debate with myself since December, I did a few clicks of the mouse, and signed up for the 10k swim :) 
     I am also truly grateful for the Team Toledo triathlon club-without them in this area, I probably wouldn't have gotten into triathlon, or open water swimming.  I'd probably still be trying to run every day, damaging my body.  There's usually someone around to swim with, and I'm thankful for that because the laps in the pool can get boring from time to time.  Even if they're just next to me, doing their own workout, it's still nice to have some company :)

“I’m proof that great things can happen to ordinary people if they work hard and never give up.” Orel Hershiser, baseball

 "I found peace in the realization that if God gives you a talent, He expects you to use it. You don't need to apologize for His gifts, only for neglecting to use them. You are honoring your Creator by making use of them. Not to do so would insult His generosity." Sister Madonna Buder

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